How to Use This Blog

A Wayfarer is a person who is traveling, a particular place, a circumstance, a stage of life, etc. Let's walk the road of adoption together. The journey is so much better with company!
Much of this information is useful for any adoption, but this blog is designed to be a
I hope this blog will be helpful to you in your adoption whether you are considering, waiting or home. I started this blog when we were adopting and found there was next to nothing on the web in any orderly manner. I set about to collect information for myself and then for others. Now, there are more sites for resources, but still not much that brings it all together. I hope this blog will serve as a sort of clearing house for Ethiopian Adoption Information. Please feel free to contribute your knowledge through commenting.
You can search by topic in three ways. 1. Go to the "key word" tabs on top and open pages of links in those topics. 2. Use the "labels list" in the side bar or 3. use the "search bar" above the labels list. You can also browse the blog by month and year in the Posts section or in any of the above as well. The sidebar links are to sites outside of this blog. While I feel they provide good information, I can not vouch for each site with an approval rating. Use your own discernment for each. If you have more to add to the topic, please add it in the comment section of that page or post.
And, please link to The Wayfarer Adoption Blog by putting my button on
your blog so others can use this resource too. Please link to this blog when ever you can and whenever you re-post things (or images) you have found here. Thanks!
The solid tabs are links to my other blogs for books and family. Check them out if you are interested.
Welcome to the journey!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Attachment issues and Ethiopia

In response to the Russian issue:,0,4803691.story

I just want to add a few things from experience, research and experience of friends and family. Please understand that I am not meaning to be graphic here, but without understanding and education and tools for intervention any of us could become a statistic as well. I would not like to see that happen, so in the effort to keep it realistic and the hopes that all adoptive families THRIVE, here are my thoughts on the latest issues in international adoption and how they relate to Ethiopian adoption:
1. Yes, Eastern European children in institutions do tend to have more severe issues, including RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder).
2. Ethiopia is not immune from similar issues, including RAD. Children are well cared for BY ETHIOPIAN STANDARDS until they are about 3-5. After that.... well, things that we would consider unacceptable are the norm there.I am not going to go into detail here, ask your older kids. Mine were 3 when they came home and they can tell me.
3. sexual abuse is wide spread in Ethiopia for both boys and girls. Sexual activity with peers is common for children over the age of 10-12.
4. Sure children in Eastern Europe are not accustomed to being held. They have more sensory deprivation issues for sure. They are undernourished and often have illnesses and disabilities due to cultural practices and neglect. They also have institutional abuse and family of origin abuse in numerous ways. Children in Ethiopia have fewer sensory deprivation issues, they are used to a rich array of sensory stimulation including being held. They are NOT immune from the effects of institutionalization or from the abuse that can occur there at the hands of caregivers and older children. They can also come from abusive family backgrounds. It is a possibility we have to acknowledge.
5. I know A LOT of families with kids from Ethiopia. I have two! :) I have heard too many stories about abuse and neglect and the effects of malnutrition and under-nutrition. I see it in my own sons (adopted at 3). I know that the issues we face adopting from Ethiopia are different than those adopting from Eastern Europe and even China, etc. Each country has it's own set of social ills and standards. But, we are not without our potential problems. Things arise after time, things you never knew, things that are sad or horrific. Sometimes they don't remember them, but they act on them. Not that they are guaranteed-going to hurt anyone (sometimes it DOES happens) but they are hurting themselves inside. A hurt child does tends to hurt others.
6. You as a parent are doing the best job you can when you learn all you can and expect that you will have a child who has experienced some level of trauma and you learn how to walk with them through it to healing. If you learn about it, you can spot it, deal with it and help your child be an over-comer and not succumb to RAD or other attachment issues or behaviors. It does not have to ruin your life -or theirs, but it will change you forever. Knowing the truth and the possibilities of what your child may have encountered in their life before you will give you power to help them succeed. Don't be in the dark. Look through this blog. You can find lots of resources to start you on a journey of education that will help your child stop hurting inside.
7. If you are of a mind to read more articles regarding what your child *may* have experienced before their life with you. Try some of these:



  1. Thanks so much for your honesty. I think its critical for people to make their decision to adopt with their eyes wide open.

  2. Thanks. I just jumped over to your blogs. WOW! Great resources. I may be linking up to you in a coming post. Thanks for your honesty and sharing your life to help others.


Please leave a comment:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sponsor a Child


The content on The Wayfarer:Ethiopian Adoption Resource Blog is for informational purposes only. We are adoptive parents, but we are not professionals. The opinions and suggestions expressed here are not intended to replace professional evaluation or therapy, or to supersede your agency. We assume no responsibility in the decisions that families make for their children and families. There are many links on this blog. We believe these other sites have valuable information, but we do not necessarily share all of the opinions or positions represented by each site, nor have we fully researched every aspect of each link. Please keep this in mind when visiting the links from this page.
Thank You.

A Links Disclaimer

I post a lot of links. I do so because I feel that the particular page has good information and much to offer. I do not necessarily support all that each site has to say or promote. I trust you to sift the links for information you feel is worthwhile to you. Each person's story and situation are unique and different things will be useful or not useful to each one in different ways. Please use your own discretion when accessing links and information.